The 2026 Commonwealth Games, scheduled to begin in March will be hosted across multiple cities and regional hubs including Geelong, Melbourne, Ballarat, Bendigo, and Gippsland which is popularly known for its Athletes village. Along with these cities, Shepparton is also expected to host Cultural and other sporting events.
According to the recent news, it is confirmed that Regional Victoria will host the upcoming 2026 Commonwealth Games along with the Australian state’s regional centers. It is for the first time the event will be organized with the majority of events breaking the traditional host city model.
The Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) on Tuesday announced that the opening ceremony will be the venue at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground which holds a seating capacity of 100,000 spectators. The announcement followed with an exclusive dialogue between Victoria, Commonwealth Games Australia (CG Aus), and CGF.
Twenty 20 Cricket, along with other 16 sports events were initially scheduled at the venue which has now been postponed to later this year. Being one of the important sports events, the government is willing to invest in community infrastructure, comprising world-class sports facilities, and housing.
Andrew Daniels the premier for Commonwealth Games, said that the games will contribute more than 3 billion dollars to Victoria’s economy, which will generate more than 600 full-time jobs before the start of the games, 3,900 jobs during, and 3600 jobs after the end of the games.
It is for the fifth time, that Australia has hosted the commonwealth games, whereas Victoria hosted earlier the 2006 Melbourne Games, which was well known as one of the most successful editions in the history of events. Earlier, Australia has staged the Games in Sydney in 1938, Perth in 1962, Brisbane in 1982, and recently in 2018 at Gold Coast. It was in the year 2004, that Victoria hosted the Commonwealth Youth Games in Bendigo.
Bendigo will host the 2026 lawn bowls, squash, netball, and weightlifting, Ballarat will host athletics and boxing, Gippsland will host Cycling and Badminton, whereas Geelong will have diving, volleyball, gymnastics, hockey, table tennis, and triathlon events. Louise Martin Commonwealth Games Federation President, said “ Commonwealth Games Australia and the Victorian government is set out a bold and innovative vision for the event”.
Victoria is a favorite in the list of the host city to have world-leading major events, and also as a tourism destination. All of the high-profile sporting competitions including the Australian Open tennis grand slam, the Melbourne Formula 1 Grand Prix, and the Melbourne Cup has been successfully staged in the city. Also, it has a record of regularly hosting elite cricket, golf, and Australian Rules Football Competition.
The 2022 Commonwealth Games, was earlier planned to be hosted by Durban, South Africa but was replaced by Birmingham due to financial issues, and England was originally going to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games.